As a veteran journalist, blogger, editor and budding author, I know a thing or two about what happens to a person’s low back and neck after sitting for hours on end. In fact, my back blew out four times before I finally found yoga. I recall lying on the floor moaning to my husband. I literally could not stand up. I had to take Motrin around the clock (and I HATE taking anything.) I was forced to take off a vital week of work. As the editor of a publication on deadline, I just couldn’t take that week off. So, I still found ways to work with my laptop by my head, my body prone on the floor, the phone on speaker by my ear. Ridiculous.
I am still a writer, but I am now also a therapeutic yoga teacher with 500 training hours. I still write for magazines and am writing my second novel, but I also teach yoga each week at Torrance Memorial Medical Center to those battling injuries and with corporate clients. I help people of all ages acquire better posture and alignment, while increasing flexibility, strength and balance. My yoga supports my writing. It’s a symbiotic relationship for my health and sanity! For instance, it is impossible to sit for long stretches without causing the hamstrings to tighten and begin to grip on the hip bones. If a person’s spine is, in any way, out of alignment, such as with one hip slightly higher than the other, a person can start to feel pinches in the low spine. To add insult to injury, anyone who sits in a hunched over fashion (and who doesn’t when bending over a computer?) compromises the important psoas muscle across the low back. Added strain builds as the spine compresses and arches in an unhealthy fashion. Work your way up from this hunched over the computer position. The shoulders are rounded in (kyphosis), causing the shoulder blades to curl and the rhomboid muscle that runs between the shoulder blades and down the spine, to harden and flatten. Years of this positioning now makes it hard to sit upright. It actually feels better to have a rounded back like a tortoise shell. It’s harder to sit up straight. And, the poor neck! With the 10 to 12 pounds of weight from the head leaning forward, the middle of the back of the neck begins to ache as well. Add stress, too much caffeine, mental pressure from difficult deadlines, and likely the muscles around the sides of the neck and tops of the shoulders are tight and vulnerable for additional injury. Does this sound familiar?
Don’t fret! Luckily, the body is miraculous in its ability to heal. Watch my VIDEO INSTRUCTION showing a simple chair exercise that really helps! Do this chair cat/cow asana 5 times a day, for 5 reps each. Even if co-workers laugh, it’ll save your low back, stretch your neck and abdominals. If you add in deep breathing, you’ll significantly lower your stress and garner more clarity—allowing for a calmer perspective once you get home and hopefully, a better night’s sleep too! If you are facing a tight deadline and know you’ll be sitting for hours on end, I encourage you to watch my video and try this asana.
If you have more questions, get in touch. If you try this, get back to me and let me know how it feels! AND, if you’d like me to come into your corporate setting to offer more tips, or to teach a lunch hour restorative yoga class targeting low back, neck and wrist relief, please contact me for my rates. Have a beautiful day.